Description Of The 2010 Earthquake : The 2010 Haiti Earthquake

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The 2010 Haiti Earthquake

Location: The epicentre was located near the town of Léogâne, which is approximately 25 kilometres west of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. (See figure 1.1)
Date/time: 16:53 local time on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010.

Description of the event
The earthquake was caused by a “blind thrust” fault action along the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault system, which had been building up stress for the past 250 years. A blind fault is a rupture in a lithospheric plate that does not reach the surface of the Earth. According to researchers from the University of Colorado, the rupture was “approximately 65 kilometers long” accompanied by lateral movement of 1.8 meters on average. The event recorded a magnitude 7.0 and an intensity associated with the IX category of the Modified Mercalli scale.

The 7.0 earthquake killed an estimated 240,000 people, injured another 300,000, and left more than 1 million people homeless. These numbers are staggering in comparison to its magnitude. In comparison, only 63 people were killed and 4000 injured after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in San Francisco in 1989. Some of the reasons for this include the shallow focus, the event taking place in a heavily populated area, and the poor economic status of Haiti. Devastation to this developing nation was inevitable due as Haiti suffered from lack of a seismic protection building code, poor foundation of buildings, and poor building materials. Many buildings were made using
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